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Blurry burgers.

imageIt was Friday night and we had our mind set on burgers. ‘De Burg‘ and ‘Omakase‘ seemed far and we wanted to have something new again so I suggested the ‘Blur Guys’ down at Tanjong Pagar that I wanted to try out for quite some time now.

I had the ‘Prime Beef with Streaky Bacon‘ burger on a wheat bun and must say I was more than positively surprised and equally impressed. The thick patty was grilled perfectly to a rose and juicy medium, had the right texture and tasted fantastically beefy. It was stacked rather minimalistic with just a thick layer of gooey and salty gruyere cheese and some likewise good and salty bacon, which maybe could’ve been a tad more crisp. The truffle mayo was tasty but too strong and dominant that it nearly overshadowed the great meaty flavours. Thankfully it didn’t so completely and therefore now I have another delicious burger on my list which is worth the calories. “Sidewise” and unusual for a burger joint they didn’t have any fries on their menu but served potato salad instead. That wasn’t a real deal breaker for me but if you prefer your burgers with the fried sticks aside you might want to opt for their Boat Quay branch as I have seen on other blogs they should have them there for you.

I liked ‘Two Blur Guys’, it’s a small burger/cafe joint with some really tasty burgers. The beer selection offers some rare choices like ‘Vedett‘ as well, which makes it a great first stop into a night out and I will surely stop by here again soon.

Two Blur Guys
1 Tras Link
#01-13 Orchid Hotel
Singapore 078867
Tel: +65 6636 4183
http://www.streetdirectory.com/twoblurguys/

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Seven Hours, Fourteen Dishes.

imageThis was on nearly every Singaporean based foodblog the last couple of weeks and since a friend asked me to go and I had never been on one of those events we went early Saturday to start with an early lunch.

Where to eat first was already decided before we even arrived  – the ‘Porchetta Sandwich‘ from the ‘The People’s Pig’ (USA). This was one good start of the day. Eventhough they only gave out half sandwiches, those were delicious. The suckling pig like roast meat was juicy and pleasantly fatty with a sweet and spicy chili jam on top that gave the whole thing a bit more punch. The bitter flavor of the arugula balanced out the fattiness and spice and to top it off they added a nice piece of crackling which I would have loved to be bigger. The Inside of the ciabatta bun was dipped in the pork jus which gave the sandwich an even meatier taste. So we were off to a good start.

imageWith the pork sandwich half way down we strolled a few stalls further for the ‘Tacos‘ from ‘Tacombi’ (USA). First disappointment was they didn’t offer the ‘Beef Tacos‘ anymore as they apparently didn’t turn out right in this climate. Second disappointment was that the ‘Fish Tacos‘ weren’t really that good. The battered and fried fish was super dry and so was the tortilla they used. Even though the chipotle sauce was quite tasty and the red cabbage was nice and crunchy I felt unsatisfied.

imageNow it was time for some Asian food and so we head for one of the longest queues all the way at the end ‘Phan Rang’ (Vietnam) with their ‘Banh Xeo & Banh Khot‘ combo. ‘Banh Xeo‘ I already had before in Vietnam and these ones were really tasty filled with crunchy sprouts and vegetables and fried crispy on the outside. The ‘Banh Khot‘ were like little egg tarts with prawns and I wished they would’ve been a bit longer on the heat as some of them were quite raw inside tasting like undercooked omelette but overall still not bad but I didn’t envy the chef, assembly-line-frying both dishes without a break.

imageSwitching back to western cuisine we opted for the ‘Soft Shell Crab Burger‘ from ‘Euro Trash Food Cart’ (USA) and yet another dissapointment – they ran out of their beef paddies so we had to go for the plain crab option. This slowly started to seem like a pretty “incomplete” event. Luckily even without the beef paddy this was a pretty awesome burger once I did get over the fact that I ate a whole crab with everything in and outside, I’m weird like that. The crab was crispy and still moist inside and the thousand island like dressing gave it a nice fresh touch. Just the bun was more the sweeter kind which I found slightly odd.

imageFurther on the western trail we arrived at the ‘Swamp Shack’ which sold ‘Shrimps & Grits‘ and their so called ‘Smothered Chicken‘. The shrimps were mega crunchy with a very dry batter which held up pretty well against the gravy and the grits which was like a corn polenta, nice and fluffy yet very filling. The chicken dish had the same gravy with mashed potatoes but I had a hard time finding some meat in there. Good comfort food with the grits as my favorite component.

imageNext up was ‘Soto Tangkar‘ by ‘Pak Haji Diding’ (Indonesia). The soup was quite rich and a tad spicy but the beef didn’t really cut it as it was too chunky and tough for my preference.

imageNow this was one of my highlights of the day, the ‘Seafood Tostada‘ from ‘La Guerrerense’ (Mexico). On their sign they offered two different kinds but our crispy corn tostadas came with everything on it they had in stock. The seafood topping was a cevice of fish, crab, shrimp, tender octopus and delicious sweet scallops that must have just hopped out of the sea. This was then finished off with a big cajun style marinated shrimp big chunks of avocado and a spicy shrimp lemon juice with peanuts. So delicious complex simplicity.

imageUntil now we had stayed away from the Indian stalls as many of them seemed to sell quite filling stuff but this one looked pretty interesting and so we tried the ‘Litti Chokha‘, little charcoal baked buns with a mix of tomatos, potatos and eggplants as well as some mint sauce to go with it. The buns were harder on the outside and crumbling on the inside and soaked up the condiments pretty good. I really liked the vegetarian chokha as it was nicely light and suited the buns well.

imageAs they had both, beef as well as pork jerky we ordered the ‘Hainan Fen‘ from ‘Hai Ya’ next. Apparently a very common dish from the Hainan province in China but I had never heard about it here. Thick eggs noodles were topped with a multitude of ingredients – beef and pork jerky, cilantro, chives, peanuts, sprouts, little shrimp, squid and a soya based gravy. I realy liked it, especially the jerkies and peanuts and even the tiny shrimp weren’t as fishy as I thought. One thing I would have loved to have missed though was the squid which was also some kind of jerky, pretty strong in taste and hard to pick out as it camouflaged itself as noodles.

imageEnough of the filling dishes we went back to India and tried the ‘Chicken 65‘ from ‘Abhishek’. This fried chicken was covered in a wondeful spice mix with a citrusy fragrance and the sweet spiced dipping powder took it all to the next level. That was awesome and I just wished lean chicken breast was more popular in Asia as that would have made this even better.

imageAfter all those hearty dishes it was time to check out the dessert corners of the fairground and so we started with ‘Kue Pancong‘ (Indonesia) that were lightly baked coconut cakes in a special shape topped with white sugar. I love coconut so this was right up my alley, maybe just a little dry.

imageThe next sweet affair again came from India and was offered by a Singaporean stall named ‘Heaven’s Indian Curry’. They offered a dish called ‘Putu Mayam‘ or ‘String Hoppers‘ which was basically freshly pressed and steamed rice noodles topped with bright orange sugar and grated coconut (also available with chicken curry). This was great and tasted quite light cause of the steamed noodles and the dessicated fluffy coconut with a sweet cover of orange caramelized sugar. If you missed the fair their shop is at #01-15 Ghim Hoh Market and Food Center, 20 Ghim Moh Road.

imageBefore washing all that wonderful stuffing down with the one or other Warsteiner we had one last sinful dish, the ‘Sticky Rice Banana‘ from ‘Nam Bo’ (Vietnam). I was lucky queueing up at the right time as the staff on the fairground told me this is by far the most popular stall and waiting can be rather long during peaks. I really like Thai ‘Mango Sticky Rice‘ and thought this might be similar but here they wrapped banana chunks in glutinous rice before grilling it over coales wrapped in bana leaf and finishing it with a thick sweet coconut sauce and sesame seeds. Eventhough I would have wished for more banana this was a lovely closer to an endless seeming feast and so seven hours and fourteen dishes later (I didn’t count the seconds of ‘Porchetta Sandwiches‘) we finally capitulated and didn’t move too much for a while.

I really enjoyed my first food fair experience even with some sold out items and complete stalls being closed like the Danish pork buns which I was so looking forward to. What really pissed me off was that they re-opened on Sunday again. Dang!

http://www.wsfcongress.com

World Streefod Congress 2013
Singapore F1 Pit Building & Paddock
1 Republic Boulevard
Singapore 038975

Bella Italia in Shinagawa

imageAfter a long day at our Tokyo office one of my colleagues and I went to ‘Vento’s’ pretty much only because it was the most convenient and only two minutes from both our hotels. We sat down outside and I felt a bit bad being in Japan and having Western food already on the second day.

My regret only lasted until my beautiful ‘Margarita’ showed up. This was without lie one of the best pizzas I have ever had in my life; pure brilliant simplicity. I haven’t had tasted such a fantastic and sweet tomato sugo in a very long time. The pizza was not overloaded with cheese so I was able to really taste all of the few ingredients as well as the thin dough. It was so thin that the area in the middle became juicy tomato-y goodness whilst the outer crust stayed chewy and tasted like very well seasoned pizza bread.

Service was very friendly and fast and the outside seating was just the right thing to do after a day locked inside an air-conditioned meeting room. Most importantly the food was outstanding so I give this place a double thumbs up. Bueno!

http://www.bar-grill-vento.com/english.html

Vento Italian Bar & Grill ヴェント高輪
1F Keikyuu Shopping Plaza Wing Takanawa West                  
4-10-18 Takanawa Minato-ku    
Tokyo 108-00                          
Japan                                                      
Tel: +81 3 3441 7952

Fat Boy’s Soft Boy!

imageYesterday was Labor Day and I was still apathetic from the cycling in the morning. There was obviously a little to little oxygen in my brains and a little too much around my belly as I was absolutely starving but couldn’t make up my mind on what to eat. Thankfully my mate called and took this difficult decision off my hands by asking if I wanted to join him and his friend for some burgers at ‘Fat Boy’s’. Pants on, spinning the Bajaj and there I was.

They were a bit in a hurry so I ordered a ‘Make-My-Own-Burger‘ on the fly. I went for a beef patty with jalapenos, monterey jack cheese all topped with a fried egg and smoked chipotle sauce. The burger was super juicy also because it was pretty raw but as I didn’t indicate my preference when ordering I had to blame it on myself. The patty was slightly under seasoned and really really soft but tasted super fresh and surprisingly light. The monterey jack tasted awesome and I had to pad myself on the shoulder for that extra thirty cents I had invested in this. I hardly tasted the egg but the spiciness of the jalapenos together with the smokey heat of the chipotle sure made up for it.

I really liked it for it’s taste but found bun and especially the patty way too soft for a burger and as it was medium-very-rare it had nearly the consistency of beef tartar. Thankfully it was good quality meat so it still came out pretty tasty. If now only the bun had held up all the way til the end.

‘Fat Boy’s’ is a nice open front joint with friendly people working there that serve up fresh and tasty food. On top I found out that they also have Nutella on burgers which proofed a brilliant choice last time at ‘De Burg’s‘ so I might just come back here to try their twist on it.

http://www.fatboys.sg/index.html

Fat Boy’s – The Burger Bar        
187 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574335

Busy for Brunch!

imageWe had a very early morning cycling session through Singapore as some of my friends are prepping themselves for the Triathlon in a couple of weeks. Some weren’t exhausted enough after 40ks and decided to have a swim at Sentosa so after refreshing from the ride I made my way out there to join them for brunch at ‘Coasts’ on Siloso Beach.

A friend and I shared the ‘Greek Salad’ and as I found ‘Crab Cakes‘ on the menu, my main selection was fixed as well. The salad came first and I actually liked it a lot. It was fresh and the cucumber and tomatoes were cut in big chunks as they are supposed to be. Kalamata olives brought a rich Mediterranean flavor to it but there definitely too little onions involved. I don’t really like feta cheese but appreciated the areas that were touched by it and therefore tasted a bit saltier. My friend must have nearly overdosed on the feta as she had to finish it all by herself. The dressing was nice and simple as you expect it, just mixing a good quality olive oil with a dash of lemon and pepper. Just the salt could have been put forward a bit more.

imageWhen the ‘Crab Cakes‘ arrived I had a feeling that the amount of crab in there wasn’t really in my favor. Starting digging in I was proven right. Even though it tasted okay there wasn’t too much crab meat there or at least it was outplayed by it’s potato-y doughy opponent. Also it could have used much more of the advertised coriander, much more. One interesting thing was the red tomato based dipping sauce. It was cold and slightly spicy but what I couldn’t nail down was where the fishy, shell-like taste came from. The closest I did get to was a memory of small clams which tasted like this. I couldn’t find any in there and maybe my taste buds just played a prank on me but if I should come back here and it’s not that busy I will try to ask someone.

I tend to forget to mention the service but here I didn’t have any complaints. Yes, you had to order yourself at a counter but the staff was very friendly and the delivery of drinks and food was fast especially considering the amount of people here. I might come back but so far more due to the fact that it’s situated directly at the beach, the food has yet to convince me.

http://www.coastes.com/

Coastes Singapore                                                                                                                                                50 Siloso Beach Walk                                                                                                                                       #01-05                                                                                                                                                       Singapore 099000

Choco Loco!

imageFinally some errands brought me back to Queensway and as it was so conveniently located I decided to return to ‘De Burg’ to finally try that mystical ‘Choco Lamb Burger‘ which I couldn’t get out of my head since I first saw it on the menu.

To be honest until I had my first bite I was not really sure if this was going to be totally disgusting or weirdly good. For a while I looked at the mayonaise and Nutella with slight disbelief but finally my curiosity won and I anxiously took a big mouthful. Now this was absolutely amazing. It worked so much better together than I ever would have thought. At first it felt like biting into a toasted Nutella roll from my childhood until I tasted that delicious lamb patty and it transformed into a burger. The meat was nicely charred on the outside but juicy and full of flavour on the inside, not too lamby as well. The juices and the chocolate mixing was a real eye opener. I couldn’t believe how fantastic that actually came together and that no one (at least that I know) has ever tried this before. The only ingredient that I reckoned was a bit odd was the tomato. The whole burger disappeared in no time and left me nicely filled and super content.

I was really happy I gave this burger a shot and can’t wait to introduce it to friends but thanks to the guys from ‘De Burg’ I already have another newly introduced burger lined up that wants to be “grubbed on”- ‘The Singhjector‘. Well done guys, you made my day.

De Burg Food and Drink Private Limited
119 Bukit Mera Lane
Singapore 151119
Tel: +65 6732 3235

Nice Brunch Deli At Mandarin Gallery

imageIt was much more difficult than what I expected it to find something to eat on the first day of Chinese New Year. We ended up going to the Mandarin Gallery where thankfully Jones the Grocer was under the few places that were open that day. We were exceptionally lucky as well as even that all seats were taken we were the first in the queue and did get to try some wine and cheese whilst waiting.

We started off with the “Duck Rillette” that came accompanied with baguette and pickled gherkins and onions. It tasted very delicate and had the right mixture of meat and fat without being greasy.

For my main I went with their “Chicken Club Sandwich“. The bread was hearty and properly toasted, the chicken breast juicy and the lettuce and grilled bacon gave the sandwich a nice crunch and saltiness rounded up with a fried egg and creamy avocado.

Super friendly service, good and quality food, I’ll be back; also to try their “Pulled Pork Sandwich” which unfortunately wasn’t available on the brunch menu.

http://www.jonesthegrocer.com/

Jones the Grocer                                                                                                                                                 33A Orchard Road                                                                                                                                             #04-21/23 Mandarin Gallery                                                                                                                  Singapore 238897